Self-Care for the Empathic Person with Sarah Granahan

Oct 1, 2021

What are some of the skills and abilities of empathic people? How can empaths learn to protect their energy and harness their empathy? Why are nature and water essential to self-care for an empath?

MEET SARAH GRANAHAN

Sarah Granahan is the Founder of Color My Spirit, LLC – an organization she created in 2012 to offer inspiration, motivation & self-healing to people. Sarah is an Energy & Intuitive Coach with training as a Holy Fire® Reiki Master/Teacher (RMT), Healing Touch Practitioner Apprentice (HTP-A), Hypnotherapist, Integrative Health Coach, and Healy Practitioner. Her gifting includes being an Intuitive Empath, Shaman, Medium, Animal & Child Messages & Energy Worker, and Wellness Coach.

Sarah treats people with sleep disturbances, anxiety, pain, grief, wound healing, fatigue, or side effects from medication and chemotherapy. She also offers sessions for people who want to explore their shadows and clear old energy to support their general well-being. In 2020, Sarah expanded her practice and opened Color My Spirit Wellness – a place where alternative & holistic practitioners can gather to treat clients on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels to encourage alignment and balance.

Visit her website. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to her Youtube channel. Alternatively, give her practice a call at 919-803-8085 or email her at sarah@colormyspirit.com.

IN THIS PODCAST:

  • What is an Empath?
  • Some top self-care tips for empaths
  • Intention is important

WHAT IS AN EMPATH?

With an empathic person, or an empath, they take it to a whole other sensory and processing level. It’s a heightened sense of awareness that they have with their surroundings, the people that they’re around, the environments they find themselves in. (Sarah Granahan)

An empath will not only feel the emotions of the people around them, but they may take it on as their own and carry the emotional weight that does not belong to them.

It can become difficult for them to distinguish between what their emotions are and the emotions that they feel that belong to or come from other people.

However, being an empath is a gift, and it is something to be celebrated.

It is a gift. It’s a way to determine and get a heads up on things and something I keep in my tool belt when I’m at work, or in my friend circle, or just a way that I can help myself feel better and maintain my health instead of having these waves of up and down all the time. (Sarah Granahan)

Some signs of having the empathic ability:

  • Feeling deeply connected to being outside and in nature
  • Having the feeling of carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders
  • Crying easily
  • Being worried and concerned about your loved ones
  • Treating pets like family
  • Being more compassionate and caring for your loved ones than most people around you
  • Getting tired easily from spending time with energetically demanding people
  • Becoming emotional when watching movies and tv shows
  • Mimicking and picking up on other people’s illnesses and physical pains

SOME TOP SELF-CARE TIPS FOR EMPATHS

Emotions are very much so cleansed by water. Empaths may be very attracted to being around lakes and water … its because water is a very big healer and clearer of our emotional field. (Sarah Granahan)

  1. Positive self-talk is essential.
  2. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water.
  3. Taking care to get enough quality sleep and time resting.
  4. Spending time in nature to ground energy and decompress from people.
  5. Setting healthy boundaries, pulling back from people-pleasing, and learning how to say no.
  6. Practice journaling to let go.
  7. Planning for emotional overload. If you have had a busy time, plan some space for yourself at the end to replenish yourself.
  8. Practice distinguishing between your emotions and energy and those of other people.
  9. Work with visualizing techniques. Imagine the person you want to become and the life you want to lead, and take small steps every day towards those goals.

INTENTION IS IMPORTANT

If these ideas are new to you, or you are struggling with implementing them, start simple and focus on intention.

It is your intention to get better, reclaim your energy, and replenish yourself. You intend to learn how to protect your energy, set healthy boundaries, and put yourself first which will teach those around you to do the same.

Connect With Me

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Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

An effective and practical framework for managing stress by Dr. Nina Ahuja

BOOK | Judith Orloff – The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People

Youtube video: The Golden Movement with Sarah Granahan

Free 8 Week Email Course with Lisa Lewis

Practice of the Practice Podcast Network

Transcript

[CHRIS McDONALD]

The Holistic Counseling Podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like Behind the Bite, Full of Shift and Impact Driven Leader, go to www.practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, where you discover diverse wellness modalities, advice on growing your integrative practice, and grow confidence in being your unique self. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. I'm so glad you're here for the journey.

dication and chemotherapy. In:

[SARAH GRANAHAN]

Oh, thank you so much, Chris. I'm happy to be here again, talking with you.

[CHRIS]

Yes, it's great to have you here again. Can you tell my listeners again a bit more about yourself and your work?

[SARAH]

Yes, so I actually started my journey discovering my empathic gifts, which then opened me up to healing myself and realizing that I needed other self-care and support, which got me many years ago, probably almost 20 years ago. We were heading to on this journey to discovering alternative practices, other modalities to do along with traditional medical care, to support myself because the answers I was finding and the support I needed were more of the alternative type as well. So since I found that that worked for myself, I was just on fire and I thought, this is what I want to do for people. I was a little bit lost in the beginning. I didn't really quite know what my purpose was supposed to be, and I knew I wanted to help people and then once I was able to figure things out for myself, I thought more and more people needed to know about this and I wanted to do this work for others so that they can find alternative ways to help support themselves as well.

So in my practice, I do often get a lot of clients, whether they're an empath or not. They come in, discover me either through a referral or through a Google search. They're feeling off. A lot of people will say, they just feel heavy, they're feeling low, maybe they have some anxiety that's been trailing them and along with their medical care that they receive will come in and just discover and dip their toe into trying out alternative modalities, such as energy work messages; hypnotherapy too, is really wonderful for that and other options that we offer at the practice. So it's been wonderful. I've met a lot of people, developed a great clientele and I'm excited to even expand more, to let people know the power of the type of work and how it can really support those that are sensitive or help people cope with all the changes going on in the world today.

[CHRIS]

Oh, true. We need as many supports and resources, techniques, whatever we can find to get through all this.

[SARAH]

Yes. Yes, and it has just been up and down and of course, as scientists say, that's what a pandemic kind of follows that curve. But what can we do for our emotional and mental care while we're having to follow certain restrictions or if we're having to cope in certain ways that aren't traditional for us? Some of this work is really great because it can be done even virtually. You can actually have an energy session or hypnotherapy via Zoom. It's still work. It works just as good as in person.

[CHRIS]

Absolutely.

[SARAH]

Just like counseling.

[CHRIS]

Yes. Much of my distance Reiki has been very helpful for me, but yes, just counseling people do have that look sometimes, "I don't know. Is that effective?" I'm like, "Yes, we've done it for a year and a half." So it's a pandemic and yes, and people make progress. They get better. To me, it's the same thing. It's just a different modality.

[SARAH]

Yes, just a different way to deliver it. And it's just people getting used to that, but at least there's those options available that everything's not quite shut down, which is wonderful, but it's just discovering what it is you need or what it is you think your children need, what it is you think your relatives might need to help support them during all these changes going on.

[CHRIS]

So how would you define what an empath is, because I have some ideas, but I know you're one as well and you have had probably more experience with this than me.

[SARAH]

You know, a lot of people look at me and they'll say, well, I'm empathic. That's just the way that people feel. That's humans. And those that have different levels of empathy. Sure, and you can have empathy for somebody if there's a loss or traumatic change that's happened in their lives or if a pet isn't feeling well. So that's very true. You'll feel for that person or that animal or that situation. And everyone, humans usually have that emotion or have that capability of having those responses, but with an empathic person or an empath, they take it to a whole other sensory and processing level. It's a heightened sense awareness that they have with their surroundings, with the people they're around, with the environments they find themselves in.

And what they don't even realize is they're absorbing a lot of other people's emotional feels. A lot of other situations if they find themselves at work and there's been a lot of pressure or people are upset about stuff, they'll feel that an empath. They'll go home with it even, and they'll take those feelings home. Now what's hard for an empathic person is distinguishing is this my feelings or is this somebody else's? And often they haven't even thought to be able to do that because maybe their whole life they've felt other people's stuff and just assume that ---

[CHRIS]

So that feels normal.

[SARAH]

So you would think that, wow, I guess I feel down often or I have a lot of anxiety and sometimes some of those feelings that they've carried for so long over time will develop into other physical sensations or symptoms in the body that can be a little bit lessened or aided with energy work or other modalities that help release some of that. But the key is for an empath to realize that they may just be carrying other people's stuff. It's not just all their stuff that's on the plate that they're carrying.

[CHRIS]

I think you're right, not enough people know about this because I see that with counseling clients. They may never have heard of it or understand it and don't know what to do with it, don't know what is their energy like you said, and what is someone else's and just a lot of them just take it all as their own.

[SARAH]

Yes. And there's definitely some signs that you can sense that if you are an empath yourself, or if you have a child in your care that's an empath or maybe a relative that's a certain way. So I can go over some of those that you can pick through to help you determine is this, wow, maybe it's more than just me feeling like this all the time and oh my gosh, what if I released all these feelings, these other people's feelings, even how good would I feel? That's like the excitement of it all once you get the cues to figuring out all this. A lot of people feel better instantly and then they can learn some self-care tips, being an empath or supporting an empath in your family or in your friends' circle with ways that they can manage the world. Because often people come in and they'll tell me, oh, being an empath is a curse. And I'm like, "Actually it's a gift."

[CHRIS]

That was one of my questions. Is it a gift?

[SARAH]

Yes. So this is how I kind of explain it to people. I say, somebody gifted you an awesome brand new sports, whatever fancy sports car color that you wanted and you're like, "Oh, that's mine? It's free. I'll take it." But say, you don't know how to drive stick, and they throw you the keys. So basically that car, you go to go learn how to drive stick somewhere or have somebody else take you around in that car because that car is not going anywhere real fast or you're going to damage it. So with being the empath as well, one, once you kind of realize that's kind of what's going on, you can learn certain ways and processes to help support you moving forward that actually you get to a point where you realize, oh, it is a gift. It's a way to determine or get a heads up on things.

It's something I'm keeping in my tool belt when I'm at work or in my friends' circle or just a way that I can help myself feel better and maintain my health instead of having these waves of up and down all the time. So basically once you learn how to take care of that, you can drive that sports car, same thing with being an empath. And it's just that a lot of people aren't aware of this and that there are people out there that we know very well that could have this heightened ability. So some of the signs that you are empathic or somebody that might be is they might feel really connected to being outside and to nature. Often they might feel like there's somebody that carries the weight of the world on their shoulders. They often can cry really easily.

And you might notice too, if it's a child, they feed off of others' energy really quickly. So depending on what the crowd's doing, that person mimic that. They worry about others and have concerns for others. They often treat their pets like family members, not everybody does that sometimes, but a lot of times they have heightened sensitivity that you might notice they are sensitive overall. A lot of times they are attracted to being natural healers or more compassionate than maybe other people around them. So they'll want to really try hard to show up, to help people or heal them. Their love can even be seen as over the top sometimes when people are like, it's okay, too much here. They also can get tired very easily, especially around certain groups of people or people that might be feeding off of their sensitivities or taking energetically from them.

They're emotional at movies and TV shows. They definitely can also pick up and mimic other people's illnesses and physical pains. I could speak on that. I remember growing up, I always had these, all of a sudden, my body wouldn't feel good and I'd be sick and I go to the doc and the doctor would say, you don't have anything going on. You're fine. I don't know why you're feeling sick. So that was always the dead end, I'd realize or get into that cycle with medical care people didn't know why I was feeling a certain way, growing up, even being small. And then as I got older, the pains would increase or I'd have different symptoms in different parts of my body. And I would think, oh my gosh, and I'd look up medically what it could be and then I'd go to the doctor and they'd say, "We tested you, but everything's normal. Everything's fine."

That was really frustrating when I was younger, when I wasn't aware. So what I did was I finally got to a point where my body just started, it was almost like I had carry so much of everyone else's stuff for many years of the lives that I've lived. And that's what empaths get into. They realize if they haven't managed it or known about it until they're certain age, they're 30, they're 40, maybe they're 20, they're 70, maybe they're realizing it, you've lived all these years of your life and so think about all the things you might have accumulated then being a sensitive person, even if you weren't aware that you were. So what's really great about it is once you have that aha moment, you get those, like I said, those keys, the sports car, you just got to figure out some things you can do to help manage yourself so that you can move forward not having to maybe take on everybody else's stuff, maybe learning some things you can do to help you in your self-care practice to help decompress or remove some of those things from your space and really get in tune more with, wait, how do I really feel as a person? I don't need all these other people in my space.

[CHRIS]

Yes, exactly. So are they just sensitive just to emotions or is there other sensitivities that can come up?

[SARAH]

l medicine person, [inaudible:

But yes, I believe they definitely are, I mean, even down to like skin sensitivity, I noticed that there's some that will report that they get maybe rash as easily or they can't use certain detergents. They also can have certain issues with smells. Like they might have a really heightened sense to smelling things or chemicals and they can't be around those things even. So I would say yes, overall an empathic or sensitive person, depending on their heightened sensitivity and what degree it's on. It's almost a spectrum of it all and how unique we all are. It definitely can come with some other effects that you might notice in that child or that person that you know.

[CHRIS]

Okay. So do you know if people are born with this or is this something that kids just pick up on more than others?

[SARAH]

I feel like I was born with this. I haven't really, I know that most of the empathic people that have come to my practice that have either known their empathic or discovered that they are, will tell me that they've known that they have had these gifts or they've known that they've picked up on things ever since they could remember. I believe anything's possible in this world, this wonderful world we live in, but I wouldn't be surprised if over time your sensitivities can become more heightened even. So you might start out with not really realizing that you have the ability to pick up on those things in your space, but then over time, as you, maybe you practice on tuning into yourself, more doing some really great self-care practices, wanting to even set the intention to discover what gifting that you have.

Those things can all help harness that ability to then discover and go deeper and deeper into the layers of what makes up you, so that as you uncover things and clear away layers, you can get into kind of deeper levels of things and also have different sensory things going on, where you're starting to feel, or maybe you're experiencing energy in a new way that you hadn't before. Maybe you're seeing colors. Maybe you're noticing you're feeling things that you didn't feel before. Maybe your heart chakra is opening up. So very much so I believe that it's almost like it's on the spectrum and that it can develop and be heightened at certain times as needed and then possibly it could start out even where you're not even sure that you have those abilities.

[CHRIS]

Yes, that's interesting how it can shift sometimes. And some people maybe it's just that they're more exposed to learning about it, that self-awareness early and recognizing it.

[SARAH]

Yes. It definitely depends on your caregivers, your parents growing up, like who the households you grew up in, the environment, the home away from home, even like school and things. You'll often see children will at act up a lot from school. Their parents will say, oh gosh, they're feeding off of kids at school. They're mimicking the behavior. They're feeling this way. Their friend feels this way. Sometimes those are actually signs of that child having the gifts of being sensitive and possibly an empath, but children very much so they're kind of born into this world without having to learn about some of the things we all as adults have to get through and figure out. So a lot of times they're more innocent and they're more connected and they're more open to things and feelings.

And then as we get to be adults, sometimes that just gets shut down just because of maybe the caregivers who were around and things suggested that, no, we just need to focus on this or certain people around us possibly need a certain amount of control. So we had to learn how to fit into that box. So a lot of times people won't realize they have some of these gifts and then as they get older, discover them when they're finally on their own making choices for themselves and realize, oh, wow, yes, I actually had this, but it was shut down. And that happens with a lot of gifting for people, but animals and children have a very heightened sensitivity and awareness already. It's almost, I believe it's mother nature because babies and kids, they can't really express to us their emotions and how they're feeling. They can't tell us they're hungry if they don't know how to speak a language yet.

So a lot of times they have to go off of those physical emotions and mental feels and things just to be able to survive and to let us know by crying if they need something. So though it can be frustrating as adults. It's the way that they can function in the world. So since we, I believe everybody has heightened sensitivity in a way, maybe not to the point of being empath for most people, intuitively even just being able to pick up on things and then depending on how you're reared growing up and who's around you supporting you and sharing with you or having you explore certain things, but you either continue developing those gifts or they do get shut down just so that we can all fit into society in certain ways that people want us to.

[SARAH]

That's great explanation on all that. How common do you think empaths are?

[SARAH]

I've heard actually, I still very knew a lot of the studies coming out. I know Dr. Judith Orloff. She has had a practice for many years, a counselor as well, but she had specifically worked with sensitive people and over time has written many books, has a beautiful website and podcast that she offers on empath specifically. I had read her book, The Empath Survival Guide many years ago when I was starting to learn about my gifting. But I believe it's not as high amount as you would think. I know a lot of people, what happens is it gets confusing where it's like, well, that person's sensitive. They must be an empath. But that person and might be sensitive and cry easily about things, but are they absorbing other people's energy? Are they having issues with, can they pick up on people's pains or illnesses that people have?

I literally, someone could not tell me they're not feeling well and then if someone was in my presence, talking to me or not even engaging with me, maybe right arm will start hurting me in my elbow. And then if I happen to ask the person, can I just ask you a question, because it's happening out of the blue for me, and I know ways to ask if it's mine or somebody else's, but I'll just say, I'm just curious, is your elbow hurting you? And then they'll tell me, yes, I got into a car accident. It's still not healed yet. I had started realizing that at a young age that I was able to do that. And of course back then I was like, what am I going to do with this? I don't know why I'm feeling like this?

But what's beautiful about what I ended up taking my gifts and using it to help others is in my sessions, I can actually pick up on those things coming through my body or sensations I'm feeling so I can feel the degree of pain they're feeling or that somebody hasn't maybe shared with me that they do have anxiety at times, but my body's picking up on that during a session. So again, it depends on how you view it. It can actually, it's a gift. I promise you. It's not a curse. It's just knowing ways to take care of it. So I always tell people lately like just like a sports athlete would take care of themselves, they have certain conditioning, they have certain exercises, they have certain ways they even eat to stay in top shape to do the sports and the things that they do. Well, this type of work, if you have empathic gifts you just have to know that you should see yourself in that light.

You're like an athlete and there's certain ways that you need to take care of your body. Or if clients that are empaths, there's certain ways that you can teach them to help with their self-care routine and developing a habit of that to help them cope and manage themselves in a world that's full of a lot of ups and downs and a lot of feelers out there lately.

[CHRIS]

Well, let's talk about that. So what are the steps to self-care when you are an empath? Because some things might be different than other people that are not.

[SARAH]

Yes. I definitely have a list of things that like I definitely do for myself and then also will recommend depending on the person that's coming to see me and what their lifestyle's like. There's a list of about like 14 different self-care tips that I can go over. So one of them simply is just positive self-talk. It's essential. So it's hard to be in that space of supporting your mind and with positive self-talk, if you're not feeling well. But when you realize that possibly that you might have these gifts, that you can actually take a little bit of time and realize, like I was saying, an athlete needs to, you need to care for yourself differently. So maybe you're not caring for and eating foods the way that your friends or your family do. You actually need to eat differently. So another suggestion for self-care for empath is eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water to help cleanse you. Emotions are very much so cleansed by water.

Empaths will also really be attracted to being around lakes and water, spending time, even sitting by them, being outside, maybe paddle boarding or being on the kayak, just wanting to be in the water swimming. It's because water is a very big healer and clear of emotional or our emotional field. So empaths very much so benefit from being around water. And then of course, then drinking water into our system and eating fruits and vegetables, which have a high level of water content would be really good for you. The other thing an empath needs a lot more of than most people is because we do get drained and tired from being around other people, even if it's growing to the grocery store and we don't even know these people and we're feeling their stuff and we didn't even know we picked it up. They need a lot more quiet time and they need a lot more sleep and recovery time. And if anybody, I have a good friend Trisha, and she's my best friend back in the day and she'd make fun of me always in high school because I would sleep in all the time.

My mom, even, I remember her telling me, oh gosh, you're going to have kids. You're never going to sleep again. You know how you have much sleep you need. So it's always a big laughing thing about that with me. And I'm still very much so like that, but what it is actually, what I've realized over time is I'm in a heightened path. I'm an intuitive empath too. So just playing and talking to people or just socially even, and not even working, spending time around people or talking and working and different things will just drain me to a different level. Especially after doing energy sessions, I feel like as I'm getting older, I need more time to rest. Luckily my family knows that about me. So they're like, okay, mommy's taking some downtime or mommy's spending some time outside in nature.

And that's another place that empaths really get filled up in. It's being out in nature. We might need to spend a little bit more time just soaking up the sunshine, walking on a path in the forest. And if you aren't able to walk as much, very much so you can find a bench somewhere in one of these lovely parks that we have around us and even in different states too, and spend some time outside. I mean, that's also pretty safe to do now, even with the atmosphere we find ourselves in with COVID, spending some time outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, taking in the animals and the nature. That just really helps to decompress our energy because what we are not realizing is our energy gets really heightened and then we start absorbing things. So we're operating almost like a stressed out level, depending on the energies in the room or the people in our home.

And a lot of us are in our homes right now because of COVID and having to be restricted at times, we're kind of, if we're empathic, we're sharing the space with our family's energy and our kids' energy and our pets need us. So it is a lot and there isn't a lot of times where we have out lits, but it's very important, especially now to just use some of the more natural ones that are safe to do, which is maybe to spend time outside, even in your yard, just away from everybody else for a little bit and letting your family members know. It's not that I don't want to be around you guys because ---

[CHRIS]

Sometimes it is.

[SARAH]

Sometimes it can be, Chris, but sometimes you might be feeling that way because you notice that it's just too much going on and instead of getting to the point where you're responding that way and being like, I'm done with you guys, I'm out of here, maybe it's that you do have gifts that you need to also just step away from a little bit. And if we can't go on a beautiful vacation, like everybody wants to right now we can at least step outside and enjoy that time away.

[CHRIS]

Or just stand on the grass. That's what I do, sometimes just standing on the earth connecting.

[SARAH]

No shoes, just the feet?

[CHRIS]

Yes, just standing.

[SARAH]

That's beautiful. So any way you want to experience that outdoor, that nature, what fills you up. And if you don't know, just experiment with some of that and see. But for you, it's that. I think that's beautiful. I've heard other people do that. I get all worried about stepping on sticks. See I have sensitive feet.

[CHRIS]

I didn't even think of that.

[SARAH]

I'm always like sandals.

[CHRIS]

I don't walk barefoot in the grass, but yes, just that connection with earth energy, I think is important.

[SARAH]

Very much, so. Very much. Some other ones that are really helpful for self-care for empaths, just setting healthy boundaries and learning to say no. Empathic children and people often have trouble doing that because we don't want to disappoint people.

[CHRIS]

Yes. That's a common theme with clients and therapy.

[SARAH]

Yes, we don't want to let somebody down. I was a big people, pleaser. I loved pleasing the teachers I went to school with. I always wanted adults to see me in a good light. And that just was in me kind of ---

[CHRIS]

I can see that with you.

[SARAH]

Yes. You got me. So as an adult, it was hard actually for me to learn to say no to things and I'm like, well, I can fit it in. I can do that. I have to say, I do still do a lot more than probably I should at times, but I get excited about life and experiences and opportunities, but all of us, I think in general, whether you're an empath or not, it's really good to try to work on setting healthy boundaries and learning to say no to things that just aren't in our best interest. Or if we're feel like we're getting too full with everybody else's stuff or our own, we need some downtime. Then that's a sign. If we're getting snippy, if we're getting short tempered, we're getting angry, we're starting to feel really frustrated, we're starting to feel down. We might need to look at, there needs to be some other self-care that needs to be added into there. And simply stepping away, like you've said outside, standing on the grass, being outside in nature, going for a walk, sitting by water can really help you get in tune with that and just figure out what is it? Do I have a heightened sensitivity or is it just, I need, I have had enough.

It can be very much so. So another way that empaths can help support themselves is journaling to let go. Because we don't like to say know to people, because sometimes we don't like confrontation, we don't like that energy of that person getting upset with us or them getting frustrated or disappointed in us. A lot of empaths, I know have trouble speaking their truth and standing in that space to be able to say, no, I need to have it this way, which might be the opposite of somebody's way. And that can be with work relationships, with family relationships, whatever that is. So often I recommend to my friends who have trouble with that, what you can do is, so you're not feeling so out of control, so you do have the control to do something alternative.

So why don't you take out a journal and just write? It can be like the nastiest letter you ever want to write too, if you need it. It could be like the swear words being written and stuff. Just do it up. If you're angry with somebody or if you're feeling like they're not hearing you as much, you can definitely take some time to journal. And then also check in as being an empath, what emotions are coming up and do they feel like they're yours or are they actually belonging to maybe somebody else? And we don't need to pinpoint if it's who it is that they belong to. We don't need to return their emotions to them. We just need to get them out of our space. So by journaling and then even maybe taking a letter that you've written, if it's an angry one and ripping it up and burning it outside, just something kind of almost like ceremonial in a way to get things off of your chest, to vent so that you can get it out of your system.

Because the number one reason people come to see me is they're storing their emotions, they're storing their thoughts and feelings, they're not in touch with their emotions. They're having physical body symptoms starting up. They're worried. They feel off. And a lot of it is that they've had things for all these years that they have been able to express that are just sitting on their dormant. And I'm sure Chris, in your practice, that's something you recommend people to do.

[CHRIS]

Oh yes, absolutely. Well, it's a lot of the clients I see too. They just have difficulty expressing emotions, period. So that's definitely finding ways to release and let go. It's so important.

[SARAH]

Yes, definitely. So that's just one of the ways. And then there's different ways that it can be recommended, but that's a really good one, a real safe one, one that's easy to do. And if you don't have a journal, just take a sheet of computer paper, write it on a post-it note.

[CHRIS]

I find the young adults, like their phones too ---

[SARAH]

Oh yes.

[CHRIS]

Put it into their phone.

[SARAH]

There you go. Catch me up to right now. You're right this generation, yes, exactly just put it out there and then you can delete it after you do it or screenshot, then delete it or whatever process you need and you have with that. That's very true. Another way that we can protect ourselves and support ourselves with self-care is if you have a busy time period coming up, say you've got school tests or you have a meeting at work that there's going to be a lot of people and it's going to be long days or you've been on Zoom forever and with everybody, and it's just taking up so much of your time and you're just feeling so depleted, so planning for emotional overload basically. So making sure that when you do know that you have these meetings coming up or these engagements that are going to drain you, or they're going to take from you that you to take maybe a day off after when you can, or two days off, even just to replenish yourself, to set healthy boundaries, to catch up on your personal things that you might need to do and also then to check into your empathic self and see how drained do you feel.

Because what happens is with empathic people too, over time, people take, take, take, and we just fill up, fill up, fill up with other people, stuff. We get to a point where it's just enough and then we feel so off that we don't know where to turn, what to do, and we're just not going to be showing up very good for anybody anymore. Even I've heard of some empathic people tell me that they just have stopped making new friendships and relationships are hard for them. And that's in a way that to me, a sign that they're just too full and they need focus on themselves, almost like cocooning themselves, like a beautiful butterfly spending some time just decompressing and then knowing that once again, you will be able to reemerge to the world as that beautiful butterfly. It just, you need to take good care of yourself.

[CHRIS]

Yes. That's a good way to put it.

[SARAH]

The other one I've mentioned a couple times while we're talking is just being able to distinguish if you can, or practice distinguishing if you aren't able to at first, if it's your energy or somebody else's you're carrying. So when I started, I didn't know what was going. I just knew my body was acting all cuckoo and I just didn't feel good and the doctors couldn't figure it out. So I was real frustrated. I felt like I was at the end of a wall there. I wasn't diagnosable, but I had very active physical symptoms going on in my body that were saying otherwise. So when I started discovering this empathic gift I had and started doing some of the self-care that we're talking about doing, I noticed I started feeling better and I started learning just the simple tension of sitting there.

And you can just say to yourself, simply either out loud or to yourself in your mind, is this my energy I'm feeling or somebody else's? So for me, it was, my body was speaking to me in physical pain symptoms in my body because of all the stuff I was carrying over the time. So what I just said would say was is this my pain in my leg or is this somebody else's? Is this my stomach ache that I'm feeling or is this somebody else's energy? And often what was surprising to me was I was realizing I would get tingles of kind of, for me, because I'm intuitive, yes or no, or yes or no messages. But I was able to determine if it was somebody else's and then I was like, oh my gosh. But I was convinced this is my physical sensation that I'm feeling in my body.

So of course this is my body feeling upset. But sometimes it was actually other people's stuff and I'm like, oh, get it out. I don't want it. I don't want it taking up anymore space. Then it needs to, it doesn't need to live here. It doesn't need to be here. Like I said, there's some simple ways that I teach people at my practice, so to determine there's other things called like a human pendulum technique and other ways that you can tune in. And even if you're somebody that's like, I don't get messages, I'm not intuitive. I don't believe, I believe we're all have a different level of intuition that can be developed over time. But aside from that, if that's too scary, we can just get into intentions of saying, I would like my body to release what doesn't belong in my space or my highest good. That's some words around that if they, if you want different words.

I'd like to say hello to energy that I don't need in my space or I like to say hello to energy that is somebody else is in my space that I no longer need to carry. And I want to visualize it moving out of my space. So that goes to the other self-care tip of visualizing techniques. Theirs are very powerful, no matter what gifting you have, whatever abilities you have. You can just start doing them. And intention, intention, intention is very important for any of this work and just for life in general. So even if you don't feel, if you don't see, if you can't sense, if you don't have certain things, but you're an empath or you're someone that wants to try some of these things, just setting the intention to start doing that and to practice doing it. Practice, as they say makes perfect.

So you wouldn't, you'll be surprised how much you practice over time that things might, you might realize how you sense things or your aha moments or when you're able to decipher, if it is somebody else's energy or somebody else's. So I always challenge my clients that want to work on this type of stuff, just practice doing it. Don't shut yourself off from that experience and think you're somebody that can't experience that in a certain way. We all are just beautiful humans on a spectrum of rainbows to me. So we all have certain gifts. We all have certain backgrounds. We all have certain life experiences. So we all can also practice refining ourselves at any point we want to, we just have to show up and say yes.

[CHRIS]

And I think that's tuning in isn't it, really developing that inner tuner?

[SARAH]

Yes. And that's what I said. I believe it's possible for any one to be able to do that. We just take a little bit of practice. And then some people are born wide open with being able to do that. And that's who they are and that's okay. We all have our different gifts and our abilities, but another visualization technique that's really important for empaths, especially if we know we're going to be going into tough atmosphere. So say we've got some friends that are kind of run a little bit more to toxic energy, or they have a lot of drama going on and we want to show up for them. So for an empath to show up to somebody that wants to vent to them or tell them off, or they don't feel very happy inside that is very draining to an empath and that it can leave us even feeling sad, depressed, down very tired.

And you might notice patterns of that when you hang out with certain people and we'll get into that too. So a way, if you have no other way to avoid that from happening or say, you're at work and somebody's having an adult tantrum at work or somewhere else, it's all needed at times. But to protect yourself, being an empath, what you can do is visualize like even just a white light around your body, or like a bubble, even encapsulate in a bubble and just set an intention simply that you're protected, only love and light can touch you and affect you and that anything else outside of that will just stay outside of your body and your aura and your system. That's really very simple to do and very powerful. And it doesn't have to be done out loud. You don't have to make a big show about it. It's just something you can set an intention for, just say in your mind to yourself at any time. And there's some people like myself who start our days doing similar work like that, just because I know that we'll be stepping out into the world and not knowing the type of clients that will be coming in or what people are carrying with them and how things will go. So that's a really good practice to get into not only for empaths, but for anybody.

[CHRIS]

Yes. And mental health therapists, especially before sessions before you start your day. I think that's important.

[SARAH]

Yes.

[CHRIS]

We deal with a lot of heavy stuff.

[SARAH]

Yes, you all do. And we are thankful for you all to be showing up. Talk about community helpers, you guys are definitely needed right now and busy, but yes, any self-care techniques for you guys to still function, to still take your caseloads, to still be able to show up for people, whether it's on Zoom or in person, these are some great tips without you, even if you don't feel like you're an empath to do and put into practice. For sure. So to keep you guys healthy, because we don't want you guys getting sick and breaking down just with actual heaviness or other things going on.

[CHRIS]

So Sarah, what's a takeaway you could share today that could help listeners who might just be starting their holistic journey?

[SARAH]

A takeaway, well, just holding space for kind of the people around you and realizing that their sensitivities are heightened or they just seem to be that person that has trouble with certain situations or is more emotional that they might be actually empathic. And it's a gift that they have and just having patients or helping them maybe discover some of that ability that they have on a deeper level, helping them maybe learn even about self-care and some different techniques they can do. I know energy work is a very appealing for are a lot of empathic people because it really can get in there. You don't have to do any homework. You don't have to do anything for yourself. You just show up, get a session done, and it just takes out what you don't need anymore. And most often everybody reports feeling lighter, more at peace, more like themselves again, but really taking the time to teach your loved ones. If you're noticing a child in your family that has some of these gifts or a relative or a friend, even as an adult, just for them to look into this because this very much so does exist. And like I said, Judith Orloff is a great, Dr. Judith Orloff. She's got some great books out there too that you can ---

[CHRIS]

We can put, put one of her books in the show notes.

[SARAH]

Yes, I think that would be great. Like I said, The Empath Survival guide is really great and also is a great read on just figuring out are these kind of some qualities that really speak to me or might just be sensitive. But also my practice on YouTube, The Golden Movement is really great for empathic people.

[CHRIS]

Oh my God. I did that today. I have to say listeners, you have to check it out. We're going to have it in the show notes and that'll be on my website, but yes, that's definitely something you should do every day.

[SARAH]

Yes. Good. It's just like energy work, but it's like an hour of it if you do three of them back to back, but it's something very simple. You can do out in nature when you're connecting in at home, it only takes a few moments. It doesn't take a lot of your time. Anyone can do it and you can also send that energy to a loved one or someone else that you feel like really needs to be filled up. Any questions anyone has or any more information they want and some tips and tricks and things Color My Spirit Wellness, we all are there with a bunch of us practitioners there. Now we are there about showing up for people and helping hold space for them in that way. So definitely reach out. I'm sure in your show notes, you'll have Color My Spirit Wellness website available.

[CHRIS]

Yes, of course. And for episode seven, I didn't get a chance to mention that either. Sarah talks about more energy healing there. So we did talk a little bit about empath too, in that discussion. So check that out if you haven't listened yet.

[SARAH]

Yes. Sounds great.

[CHRIS]

Well, thanks for coming on Sarah. I know there's so much awesome information you gave us.

[SARAH]

Oh great. I'm so glad. Like I said, this is who I am. So I know a lot about this. I'm so glad to share it with everybody out there. There's definitely things that we can do to help support ourselves. And even if we're not quite an empath, please tune in and check out and try some of these self-care techniques for yourself because it helps everybody, not just empathic people too.

[CHRIS]

Thanks to my listeners for tuning in today. And always remember to subscribe, rate and review to show your support for the show. Again, this is Chris McDonald sending each one of you much light and love. Until next time, take care.

If you're loving the show, will you rate review and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform? We just started this and that helps other people find this show. Also, if you're feeling uncertain about your modalities and you want to build your confidence to be your unique self, why don't you to join my free email course, Becoming a Holistic Counselor over at holisticcounselingpodcast.com.

In my Becoming a Holistic Counselor course, you'll get tips for adding integrative care into your practice, what training you need and don't, and the know-how to attract your ideal holistic clients. If this sounds like the direction you are headed, sign up at holisticcounselingpodcast.com.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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